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Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West Paperback – July 13, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Caldwell frames the issue of Muslim immigration to Europe as a question of whether you can have the same Europe with different people. The author, a columnist for the Financial Times and a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, answers this question unequivocally in the negative. He offers a brief demographic analysis of the potential impact of Muslim immigration—estimating that between 20% and 32% of the populations of most European countries will be foreign-born by the middle of the century—and traces the origins of this mass immigration to a postwar labor crisis. He considers the social, political and cultural implications of this sea change, from the banlieue riots and the ban on the veil in French public schools to terrorism across Europe and the question of Turkey's accession to the E.U. Caldwell sees immigration as a particular problem for Europe because he believes Muslim immigrants retain a Muslim identity, which he defines monolithically and unsympathetically, rather than assimilating to their new homelands. This thorough, big-thinking book, which tackles its controversial subject with a conviction that is alternately powerful and narrow-minded, will likely challenge some readers while alienating others. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Caldwell compiles his arguments patiently . . . with lucidity and intellectual grace and even wit. . . . He is a vivid writer, and like an action-movie hero he walks calmly away from his own detonations while fire swirl behinds him. . . . Mr. Caldwell’s book is the most rigorous and plainspoken examination of Muslim immigration in Europe to date, a sobering book that walks right up to, if never quite crossing, the line between being alarming and being alarmist. . . . Well-researched, fervently argued and morally serious . . . it may serve as a wake-up call to many of Europe’s liberal democracies.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Caldwell gives his subject its most sustained and thoughtful treatment to date.” — Fouad Ajami, The New York Times Book Review

“This book is the best on its subject I have read.” —Theodore Dalrymple, National Review

“400 pages of must-reading. . . . A truly rare combination of ground-truth reporting about—and historically and sociologically informed analysis of—the state of Europe today.” —The Weekly Standard

“Caldwell makes [his] arguments unusually well, in a book notable for its range, synthesis of the literature, analytical rigor and elegant tone.” —Claire Berlinksi, The Washington Post

“Caldwell is a bracing, clear-eyed analyst of European pieties. . . . This book pulsates with ideas.” —David Goodhart, The Observer (UK)

“Caldwell knows Europe, especially France, better than most American and British commentators. . . . He is very good at pinpointing denial and flight from reality. . . . If his book sharpens a so far sluggish debate, it will have served an important purpose.” —Martin Woollacott, The Guardian (UK)

“In this book, Christopher Caldwell presents a daring, thoroughly researched and provocative view of the Islamic revolution underway in Europe. It’s a chilling account of how complacency, moral relativism and socialist dogma froze the European imagination while the agents of radical Islam proceeded, sure-footed, to claim Europe neighborhood by neighborhood. There have been many wake-up calls to alert Europeans to the challenges of immigration and the threat of Islam, but if anything should thaw the minds of the European leadership, it is this book.” —Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“Among the many brilliant things Christopher Caldwell has done in Reflections is write a how-not-to book about immigration.  Once again Europe has shown us the way—to go wrong.  Thanks to Caldwell’ s careful reporting and keen analysis we know exactly what we shouldn’t do when new people move to our country.” —P. J. O’Rourke

“In Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Christopher Caldwell combines an authentically Burkean historical breadth of vision with a reporter’s keen eye for detail. No one can seriously doubt after reading this book that large-scale immigration, particularly of Muslims, is in the process of transforming Europe profoundly. From the strife-torn banlieues of Paris to the multiplying minarets of Middle England, as Caldwell shows, we are a very long way indeed from the merry multicultural melting-pot of bien-pensant fantasy.” —Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University, and author of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307276759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307276759
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There is now a growing literature on the subject of the threat presented to Christian or perhaps secular- post- Christian Europe by its post- War immigration from Islamic countries. As Christopher Caldwell points out in this book, a prospering Europe hungering for workers, and perhaps overestimating its need for them opened the gates to what it thought would be a temporary immigration of foreign workers from Islamic lands. But today Europe has between fifteen and twenty-million adherents of Islam, whose continued growth is promised even if the gates of immigration be shut. The Islamic minorities have far higher rates of population - growth than do the native populations of the host - countries. There is even in Caldwell's book a study of the psychological and sexual implications of the virile East over against the zero- population- growth West. The demographic component is then one real element in the threat Caldwell sees to Europe's future.
But an even more major element in the threat is as Caldwell sees it the failure of the Europeans to truly integrate the new immigrants. Instead of being encouraged to assimilate to the host cultures the new immigrants were given a kind of laissez- faire treatment. This was one of the reasons they persisted in holding on to their Islamic loyalty as first element of their identity. So instead of there being a Europe in which Islamic populations in some way enter a kind of melting pot, there is a Europe in which whether in East London or the suburbs of Paris in Rotterdam and Amsterdam in various other European areas, Islamic population concentrates and remains in a world of its own.
There are many consequences of the European failure to present their own respective national identities or even a collective European Western identity as appealing.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Bill Muehlenberg VINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this important volume a number of important issues are explored concerning the present state of Europe, chief of which is how fifty years of mass immigration - especially by Muslims - has forever changed the continent.

In the first third of this book Caldwell examines the history and rationale for mass immigration into Europe since the end of WWII. There was certainly a labour shortage back then, and bringing in guest workers on a temporary basis seemed like a good idea at the time.

But the temporary usually became permanent, contrary to common expectations. For example, foreign workers demanded - and got, in most cases - the right to have their families come and join them. Since a large percentage of these workers were Muslims, major demographic and religious shifts ensued. While native Europeans were going through a birth dearth, the new arrivals were having rather large families.

Thus Europe changed dramatically, even simply in terms of the numbers. For the first time in its recent history, Europe is now "a continent of migrants. Of the 375 million people in Western Europe, 40 million are living outside their countries of birth."

But since postwar Europe was "built on an intolerance of intolerance," very few Europeans actually said these folks should return home when they had finished their work. They were also at this time losing all commitment to their own core beliefs and values, and "behaved as if no one's culture was better than anyone else's."

Caldwell examines the economic value of an immigration culture. Just who has benefitted? While Europe made some gains, it may be that the sending countries benefitted the most. No model of development aid comes close to competing with what we find in Europe, says Caldwell.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Caldwell's "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West" is an important and surprising book.

In essence, Caldwell's Reflections is a Brimelovian vindication of Enoch Powell, the brilliant Tory who warned against immigration in a prescient (and thus notorious) 1968 speech that began "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils".

Caldwell points out in his opening pages: "Although at the time Powell's demographic projections were much snickered at, they have turned out not just roughly accurate but as close to perfectly accurate as it is possible for any such projections to be: In a 1968 speech, Powell shocked his audience by stating that the nonwhite population of Britain, barely over a million at the time, would rise to 4.5 million by 2002. (According to the national census, the actual "ethnic minority" population of Britain in 2001 was 4,635,296.)"

Readers who get their views from the MainStream Media, though, will be startled by how gracefully--yet bluntly--Caldwell delivers an intellectually cohesive assault on the conventional wisdom of the diversity dogma.

Reflections is also a model for how a working journalist can transform years of old articles researched on scores of trips to Europe into a stylish book. Caldwell's solution is to enhance his prose style with aphorisms worthy of G.K. Chesterton.

For example, in Caldwell's original February 27, 2006 Weekly Standard article on Nicolas Sarkozy, The Man Who Would Be le Président, he discussed Sarkozy's call for affirmative action in France to appease riotous Muslims:

"It can be argued that France needs such measures desperately, ... but, ...
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